If you have seen the trailer for this movie already, you’ll no doubt have formed a pretty good idea of what you’ll be watching.
From the trailer you would be forgiven for thinking what you’re in for is a light romp, albeit a violent one, a bit like Kick-Ass only with a middle-aged man and her out of Juno. What you do get, however, is something very far from that.
While on the surface this movie has elements of a knockabout comedy, for my money it is a much darker beast.
Rainn Wilson plays Frank, a short order cook in a restaurant whose wife leaves him for another, cooler and more interesting man. So Frank decides, through a series of visions inspired by a very funny television show, to become a superhero called The Red Bolt and hit people with a wrench.
This all sounds potentially hilarious, but what it is in fact is a rather disturbing journey as we follow one man through a mental breakdown.
Ellen Page is very good as Libby, a shop assistant in a comic book store who becomes Red Bolt’s sidekick Boltie. Her character provides the majority of the humour as she encourages the Red Bolt to beat up a boy who scratched her friends car and gets over excited as she slips further into the realms of fantasy.
Less funny is the comedy rape scene, but I suspect it is supposed to be okay because it is a woman doing it to a man…
This is not a bad movie however, it is just not the movie that the trailer makes it look like.
There are some great performances, particularly Liv Tyler, who I am not a particular fan of, but she is wonderful as the estranged wife (and also manages to get a nice little in joke for fans of her dad’s band in there too).
In a way this works better than Kick-Ass as a ‘realistic’ depiction of what real life superheroes would actually be like, and the big set piece showdown at the end is brilliantly executed. I did wonder how a short order cook suddenly got so good at fighting as he takes on a drug lord’s army of hired thugs, but never mind.
So basically- watch this by all means, but be warned – appearances are deceptive!